Spring into Action

I have progressively added approximately 30 pounds over the last seven years or so. I weighed 140 when I turned 50. Now that I’m almost 58, I saw the scale tip at about 175+ right before the Holidays.

Every week, I would start my diet over, trying everything from diet apps to counting calories. I reluctantly went to my local gym and would either go on the stationery bike or treadmill for my standard 30 minutes, not even breaking a sweat. But nothing happened. I just kept adding on the pounds and started to feel more and more out of shape.

It was right around the Holidays that I looked at picture of me that was taken at a Happy Hour. Gosh, I was fat. The bulky dress I liked to wear really didn’t hide my rolls. But since the Holidays, I have now officially lost 15 pounds. I started Weight Watchers again, something I’ve done off and on throughout my whole life. I’m not going to meetings, because quite frankly, I don’t think any of those leaders really understand what I’m going through, and they talk about the same thing every time. No offense, but I know that the chocolate cake I had last night is why I’m up on the scale, and I know why I ate the chocolate cake–I was either upset, tired or bored, or maybe all of the above. The only thing to get me to not eat the chocolate cake was the ability to change my thinking.

In addition, I dropped going to my fitness center. I needed a variety in exercise, and I signed up for the Daily Burn and started the exercise plan New Beginner. It mixes stability, mobility, cardio and core exercises, and I never thought I’d feel the effects of a video workout, but I am. Not only am I losing the weight, but I’m actually trimming down the stomach bulge due to the core exercises. And, if I can do it, just about anyone can.

It hasn’t been a fast process, but every day that I’m down even .2 pounds on the scale, I’m doing the happy dance, and it gives me incentive to keep going. Overall, my mood is better–I’m happier, more confident and when I look at myself in the mirror, that double chin and belly roll is getting smaller.

So, tips for losing that weight, which we all know gets harder and harder to do the older you get–

  1. Look at yourself in those pictures and be honest with yourself–how do I really look, and remember that image in your mind and remember how you really feel when you see yourself like that.
  2. Weight Watchers–tried and true, as boring as it may seem sometimes, it most definitely works. The plan has changed so much and when I compared some foods in calories to number of points, it was no wonder I wasn’t losing weight when I was counting calories. Remember the 3-point McDonald’s ice cream cone? It’s 6 points now.
  3. Workout variety–switch it up. The Daily Burn has lots of different exercise videos/programs that last for 6-8 weeks, ranging from beginner to advanced. I’ve never liked to work out, but the fact that I have a different video to watch every 3 days keeps me engaged.
  4. You can’t cheat–no matter what! Every time I think I can just go out and have that special treat or elaborate meal at a restaurant, I work 3-4 days to get back to where I was. I like to cheat on my Weight Watchers points, thinking that the fat-free Ranch dressing I’m using for my carrots is so low in calories, it can’t possibly have points (it has 1/tablespoon). Also, I would never count those beers at bowling–it’s liquid, but my particular beer is 19 points. I’ve started counting them.
  5. Don’t eat out–cook at home. There is no excuse not to cook at home. I’m single and only have myself to cook for. I’ve signed up for Home Chef and have chosen their low-calorie meals. For about $59, I get three meals delivered weekly, two servings each, so I have leftovers for the next day. That price includes all the ingredients except for salt, pepper and olive oil. You can’t buy it cheaper in the grocery store. These meals are fresh and healthy and usually fall within the Weight Watcher 10-15 point range.
  6. Be patient–the weight doesn’t fall off quickly at this age, but know that every tenth of a pound adds up, and that’s why I’m down 15 pounds now.

 

50 and Divorced

Referred to as the “Gray” or “Silver” divorce, the number of divorcees in their 50s is on the rise. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, over 17 percent of people age 50+ were either divorced or separated as of 2011. A 2014 Bowling Green State University study indicates that more than 1 in 4 people who are in divorced are 5o years of age or older.

According to these studies, our baby boomer generation doesn’t hold the same beliefs in the sanctity of marriage as our parents did. Baby boomers want to have it all–follow their hears, so to speak, and with new medical procedures, we can look younger longer. While part of the baby boomer generation, if you have read my story, I didn’t get divorced because I “wanted it all” or was a restless baby boomer. I divorced because of addiction and abuse.

But, the repercussions of divorce in your 50s are numerous, especially for women. Financial hardships being the most obvious. I, for example, am divorced and still have a child to put through college. I don’t envision being able to retire at age 65. Many lose their support systems–couple friends that they have had most of their married lives are no longer there. Many end up feeling lonely with no one to call should they need company, support or physical help.

It’s important as women that we find a strong support network. Just the other day, my back went out on me, and I literally had to crawl to my bed. The fact that I was alone was scary, and my son joked that he was going to have to get me “life alert”. I didn’t find that any too humorous.

But the realities are there. Being single in your 50s, you don’t have the same resources as single women in their 20s or 30s. Our health will begin to fail, and we don’t have as long to build a retirement nest egg. Keeping yourself healthy by exercising and eating right is essential, and keeping your mind young and your business skills fresh, particularly in the area of technology, is also essential.